Defense Helps Clemson Down NC State, 14-13

Nov. 6, 2010

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  • CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -Kyle Parker threw for 214 yards and a touchdown as Clemson overcame several miscues to down No. 23 NC State 14-13 on Saturday.

    The Tigers (5-4, 3-3 ACC) fumbled five times, losing two of them, threw an interception, had a touchdown called back and missed two short field goals.

    The crowd at Death Valley booed the Tigers several times. But the defense bailed them out, holding the Wolfpack (6-3, 3-2) to 275 yards and dealing a big blow to NC State's hopes to win the ACC's Atlantic Division. The win also kept alive the Tigers' hope of returning to the title game.

    Jamie Harper's 3-yard TD run provided the go-ahead points with 6:18 to go, but the Tigers couldn't run out the clock after the Wolfpack managed just a 4-yard punt trying to pin Clemson inside its 20. North Carolina State managed only one first down after getting the ball back, though, and Russell Wilson's pass down field on fourth down was dropped by T.J. Graham.

    The Clemson running game struggled for just 46 yards with leading rusher Andre Ellington out with a toe injury, and it was an ugly game throughout: two touchdowns called back for penalties, two interceptions, seven fumbles (the offense managed to recover four of them), two missed field goals and a blocked field goal.

    The Wolfpack got inside the Clemson 20-yard line five times, but only managed 13 points.

    Wilson went 22 for 36 for 212 yards and was his team's leading rusher with 29 yards. Seven different North Carolina State players caught passes with tight end George Bryan leading the team with four catches for 51 yards.

    Marquan Jones had six catches for 47 yards and DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown for Clemson.

    The game started promising for the Wolfpack. Wilson accounted for all but four of his team's 58 yards as they took a 7-0 lead on Wilson's 3-yard TD pass to running back Mustafa Greene.

    The game quickly bogged down. NC State managed just 76 yards the rest of the half and Clemson's mystifying offensive woes continued.

    Parker, who gave up at least $800,000 from the Colorado Rockies to play his sophomore year, threw several bad passes, including an interception that NC State linebacker Terrell Manning returned for a touchdown that was called back for a block in the back.

    Tigers coach Dabo Swinney then tried redshirt freshman Tajh Boyd, who promptly botched a handoff, giving the ball back to the Wolfpack six yards from the end zone. But Wilson threw an interception in the end zone to give the ball back.

    The half ended with Clemson driving to the 13 before having a TD called back for holding. Parker was then sacked twice, leaving the Tigers offense scrambling to run one last play on 4th-and-37 as the rest of the team started jogging off the field.

    Josh Czajkowski had field goals of 28 yards and 27 yards, but Clemson blocked a 30-yard try in the second quarter.